Santa Barbara County officials have made a second winter storm related emergency declaration. It comes after the violent wave of weather that ripped through many areas late last week.
The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors have been getting regular briefings from department heads and emergency workers about the impacts including damages to roads, beach areas and parks.
Between the storm related damage in January and the recent damage, costs to the county will likely exceed $14 million according to the county’s preliminary estimates.
Friday was one of the most aggressive weather related days in years with high powered winds over 40 miles an hour in some areas, along with relentless rain for hours.
The “Proclamation of Local Emergency” will help the county with financial and other resources from state and federal agencies assigned to support recovery efforts after weather related impacts.
Here is the full county press release:
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY PROCLAIMS SECOND LOCAL EMERGENCY DUE TO SEVERE WINTER STORMS
(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) – At 12:30 p.m. today, Santa Barbara County proclaimed a local emergency due to the severe winter storms that impacted the County February 16-18, with most significant damage caused by the storm on Friday, February 17. The storm delivered sustained winds of 30-40 miles per hour (MPH) with gusts up to 60-70 MPH, rain amounts of 4 to 9 inches, dangerous flash flooding, mud debris and flows, and coastal erosion that caused severe damage to private and public property, roads and highways, and critical infrastructure. As one example of storm damage, the Goleta Beach Pier is closed until repairs can be made to ensure the public’s safety.
This is the second storm-caused local emergency proclamation issued by the County this winter. The proclamation was signed by County Executive Officer Mona Miyasato and will be ratified by the Board of Supervisors at its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, February 28 in Santa Barbara. This proclamation is for the entire County including all of the affected cities and districts.
By the County executing this proclamation of a local emergency, we will be asking the state and federal government for emergency assistance for the February storm that caused, by preliminary assessments, approximately $7.4 million in damage. This is in addition to about $7 million in damage to private and public property from the previous January storms. The County will be asking the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services for state assistance. Should the Governor proclaim an emergency, it does not guarantee public reimbursement and does not provide for private reimbursement.
“Following years of drought and below-average rainfall, we have encountered a succession of severe winter storms that are the source of destruction to public infrastructure and a threat to the safety of our communities,” said Joan Hartmann, Chair of the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors. “We recognize the importance of not only continuing our efforts to deal with these ongoing emergencies, but also to ask for vital state and federal assistance.”
There are still many weeks left in this rainy season so residents and visitors are urged to be prepared and sign up for emergency alerts at www.AwareandPrepare.org. “If we can’t reach you, we can’t alert you.”
For information about Santa Barbara County government initiatives, policies, programs and services, go to www.CountyofSB.org.